Clogs' third album, Stick Music (Brassland, 2004), is a tour-de-force concept album conceived by Newsome and Dessner. Simply put: It is a deep exploration of strings. They are bowed, struck, plucked, and treated as never before. The results are intimate, melodic, gorgeous. One moment they resonate like gentle raindrops, the next they're woven into dizzying eddies of sound. The record includes performances by cello virtuoso Erik Friedlander - a friend and downtown scene veteran (John Zorn's Masada, Laurie Anderson, Dave Douglas) celebrating the success of his recent solo debut, Maldoror (Brassland, 2003).
Stick Music is a bold achievement. It is odd and intense enough to satisfy avant-gardists yet - after adjusting to Clogs' peculiar sound world ? it grows as accessible and comfortable as instrumental classics like John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come, or Brian Eno's early ambient works.
Clogs are a mostly instrumental project led by Bryce Dessner and Australia's Padma Newsome, both men familiar from their
membership in the acclaimed rock band, The National. Clogs are Newsome (viola/violin/melocica/voice/piano), Bryce Dessner (guitar/ukelele), Rachael Elliott (bassoon/melodica), and Thomas Kozumplik (percussion)....more